Putting New & Social Media to Work

This entry is based on an interview with 1050 ESPN New York Program Director Justin Craig. Justin Craig Interview Podcast

Justin Craig, Program Director at 1050 ESPN NY

When Derek Jeter and the Yankees began contract negotiations, 1050 ESPN New York was all over the story. After several hours of discussing it, the hosts began to wonder if they had exhausted the story. That’s when recently appointed program director Justin Craig called his counter-part at ESPNNewYork.com and asked how the story was doing online. In an interview with LarryGifford.com, Craig describes how the show hosts shifted and put even more focus on the story, because it was such a hot topic and trending so high on the website. “We use (the website) as a meter to find out what’s hot and what’s not. That’s kind of the judge and jury.”

Welcome to your new reality. Stations all over the country are now using New and Social Media to help prep and guide their shows. When he was PD at ESPN 1000 in Chicago, Craig and his team used Twitter to test topic angles and ask fans what they should talk about next. “Every single day we’re using social media like it’s nothing. It used to be, ‘call us!’ Now it’s, ‘Tweet us! Send us a text!’”

The first thing Craig does each morning is check Twitter and Facebook to see what people are talking about. He cautions that you have to be careful not to over react to a trending topic. “You still have to take everything with a grain of salt. Ask yourself, is this truly something everyone cares about? You still have to know, have a sense for news and information and an understanding about what it means.”

Craig is blown away by how the importance of social media for radio stations has exploded. “It’s not just important, it’s mandatory. If you’re not using it, you’re going to have a hard time winning.”

In his career, Craig has seen his daily routine evolve from checking the AP wires and cleaning newsprint off his hands, to using the Internet, facebook and Twitter. He wonders aloud, “What’s next? Considering all information is at your fingertips 24 / 7 – this medium is changing, and it’s changing right before us, and we better get a head of it.”

Listen to the entire interview with 1050 ESPN New York Program Director Justin Craig in which he reveals what he looks for when hiring talent and how to prep for a show.

Justin Craig Interview Podcast

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